Ask A Local About The Rose Garden
How long have you lived in the Rose Garden? About 5 years now.
What brought you to this neighborhood in particular? Many things. The location is wonderful, you’re right near the Rose Garden, and the architecture is fabulous! Many of the homes are crafted with amazing stonework and historic design. I live on a quiet street, near the main drag so it’s the best of both worlds.
What do you like best about it? I love that the Rose Garden is an incredibly safe neighborhood. At any time of day I can walk my dog around the block and just revel in the beauty of my neighborhood.
What do you like least? If you do want to go out at night and grab a drink there isn’t much of a local scene. But you’re only a short drive to downtown San Jose, Santana Row, Campbell, and Willow Glen, so it’s not that bad.
How has your neighborhood changed since you moved there? Many of the smaller, cottage-style homes have been renovated or removed and transformed into larger single family homes.
What’s the transportation scene like? Nearby is Diridon station, a reliable bus route, and light rail system. I’d say public transportation is fine for commuting to work, but with kids, I rely pretty heavily on my car to get us around.
What's the neighborhood housing stock like? On my block there have been a handful of homes that have been recently torn down, rebuilt, and sold. But other than those I haven’t noticed that many homes on the market in my area.
Better for buyers or renters? It’s pretty evenly split, but there tends to be more housing options available for renters.
Tell us something we don't know about the neighborhood: In the 20’s, the Municipal Rose Garden, from which the neighborhood received its name, was actually pear and prune orchards.
Any hidden gems? Happy hour at Wine Affairs! They don’t skimp on pours and have a lovely selection. The staff is always friendly, helpful, and welcoming. Their tapas menu is killer! I’d suggest the truffle popcorn and rosemary prosciutto flatbread. And I love their big red flight. I love their selection so much, I even joined their wine club.
Nearest grocery store (and why you like it)? Zanotto’s is absolutely wonderful. On top of their wide variety of produce, which is often locally sourced, they also happen to make superb sandwiches. Sometimes when I shop in the afternoon, I grab a sandwich, eat it outside on their patio, and when I’m done I’ll start my shopping. So that’s one of the reasons I like shopping there, as well as their offering of Marianne’s ice cream and Gizdich pies from Santa Cruz. The staff are also very friendly and knowledgeable as well, so it’s pretty hard not to buy up the whole store!
Good for kids? Absolutely! The neighborhood is incredibly serene, friendly, and the school systems are top notch. On top of that, I really do love that kids are often walking distance to the schools.
Best place to get brunch? Bill’s Cafe. Get there early because this place is packed around 9 am, but the wait is always worth it. I like to order their fresh squeezed orange juice and Hawaiian pancakes, they’re loaded with bananas and macadamia nuts. One fun fact about Bill’s is that on your birthday they bring out a shot of OJ and a piece of French Toast with a candle in it. It’s quite comical, my kids love it!
Best park? The Municipal Rose Garden of course! It’s the perfect spot to stop for a picnic on a sunny day.
Beloved neighborhood joints? The Rosicrucian Museum is a wonderful place to bring your friends and family. It’s architecturally inspired by the Temple of Amun at Karnak and houses the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts on exhibit in western North America. The docents are very knowledgeable and the tomb replica is always a hit!
Favorite family friendly activity nearby? In the beginning of June, my husband and I take our kids to the Greek Festival at a nearby church. It’s a wonderful experience for the whole family. There are vendors selling Greek foods, funny t-shirts about how Greek you are, paintings, belly dancing, and lively traditional greek music. If you ever go, you have to get the loukoumades. They’re kind of like greek churros!!! They’re little dough balls of fluffy deliciousness covered in honey and dusted with nuts and cinnamon.
Where are the best places to experience the outdoors? I love to go for runs through and volunteer at the Heritage Rose Garden. It’s 5 ½ acres and features something like more than 3,000 rose shrubs. And I love that you can sign up for a docent-led tour, adopt a rose, or take pruning lessons there.
Are the stereotypes true? Yes, the Rose Garden is the picturesque site that is in every high school prom or wedding proposal photo.
Final words? While the traffic may pick up in my little piece of heaven during prom season, there’s really no other place I’d rather be. It’s beautiful here, my neighbors are friendly, and my children are happy. I couldn’t ask for a better place to live.